In the current year, nearly 40,000 Americans are expected to receive a diagnosis of oral or pharyngeal cancer, leading to over 8,000 fatalities, as reported by the Oral Cancer Foundation. Men encounter double the risk of developing oral cancer compared to women, with those aged 50 and above facing the highest risk. The American Cancer Society recommends an oral cancer screening examination every three years for individuals over 20 and annually for those over 40. Unfortunately, the survival rate for this form of cancer stands at 50 percent over five years, and it remains one of the few cancers without improvement in survival rates. Today, Dr. Sindledecker and Dr. Saltz, along with our team, want to emphasize the significance of maintaining excellent oral hygiene to reduce the risk of this disease.
What can you do at home to actively contribute to oral cancer prevention?
The American Cancer Society suggests an oral cancer screening examination every three years for individuals over 20 and annually for those over 40. Additionally, we recommend the following:
Regular self-examinations: Use a bright light and a mirror to inspect and feel your lips and gums. Tilt your head back to examine the roof of your mouth, and pull your cheeks out to observe the inside of your mouth, the lining of your cheeks, and your back gums. Examine all surfaces of your tongue. Check for any lumps or enlarged lymph nodes on both sides of your neck and beneath your lower jaw. If you notice any changes in your mouth’s appearance or experience the mentioned signs and symptoms, contact us immediately. Avoid smoking or using tobacco products, and consume alcohol in moderation. Maintain a well-balanced diet, incorporating a variety of foods from the five primary food groups daily to meet your recommended daily intake of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Minimize sun exposure: Prolonged exposure increases the risk of lip cancer, particularly on the lower lip. When outdoors, use UV-A/B-blocking sun protective lotions on both your skin and lips. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about your oral health during your next scheduled visit, by giving us a call, or through Facebook.